5th Uttarakhand Spring Bird Festival: Uniting Birds, Birdwatchers & Communities
9th to 11th March 2018, Thano Reserved Forest, Dehradun District and Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve, Haridwar District in Garhwal, Uttarakhand
About Thano Reserved Forest: Located east of Dehradun, 24 km from the Railway Station and 12 km from Jolly Grant Airport, Thano Reserved Forest is an incredible birdwatching location, tucked away in the outskirts of the Doon Valley. Set amidst marvelous Sal forest, surrounded by scrub, agricultural fields, crisscrossed by numerous jungle trails, Thano is a haven for birdwatchers and nature lovers with a preliminary bird checklist exceeding 175 bird species. With altitudes varying from 600 m up to 1,200 m, the area offers an opportunity to bird in Sal forests in the lower elevation and mixed broadleaved forests of the lower Himalayas, as one ascends. Some of the birding highlights of Thano include Oriental Pied Hornbill, Red-billed Leiothrix, White-browed Scimitar Babbler, and lots of woodpeckers, amongst other species.
How to get to Thano:
Thano FRH can be approached from Dehradun (~24 km), along the alternate route to the airport, via Raipur. Another route is to follow the Dehradun-Rishikesh Road past Doiwala. 300 m beyond the turning towards Haridwar, there is a road leading to the left (to Bhaniya Wala). Follow this road for 7 km and you will come to a T-Junction at Thano village. Take a left turn and the FRH is 400 m down this road.
About Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve:
Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve is located 20 km from Haridwar, on the banks of the River Ganga. Established as a Conservation Reserve in 2005, it covers an area of 37.84 sq. km. The Conservation Reserve has moist mixed deciduous forest, large strands of Eucalyptus plantations, grasslands, scrub and riverine habitat. Apart from a wonderful location for wetland birds, it is the only location in Uttarakhand where the Barasingha can be seen. The preliminary bird checklist for Jhilmil Jheel exceeds 225 species. Some of the birding highlights include forest species such as woodpeckers, flycatchers and owls. On the banks of the Ganga, sightings of larks such as Sand Lark, Oriental Skylark, Eurasian Skylark and the Ashy-crowned Finch-lark and numerous waders such as sandpipers and plovers. The riverine terrain is also great for raptors.
How to get to Jhilmil Jheel:
Jhilmil Jheel is 20 km from Haridwar. From the bridge on the River Ganga, take National Highway 34, which leads to Najibabad. 20 km along this highway, well before Najibabad, there is a road that turns to the right, leading to Jhilmil Jheel FRH. A large sign on the turn announces Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve, and this a good marker for the turn off. Note, however, that the reporting point for Jhilmil Jheel birding is at Thano, from where a bus will leave for Jhilmil Jheel.
Note: A Bus service will be available from the Forest Headquarters on Rajpur Road, opposite Vishal Mart departing daily for Thano at 08:00 hrs.